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Types of Stockpile Volume Calculations from Drone Mapping


Stockpile measurements using a drone can be a 100x faster method when capturing the whole site, compared to laser scanners or traditional methods. But how do we make these measurements accurately? Let's take a look!

Stockpile Measurement Workflow using Drones

The workflow for stockpile measurement is very simple and only involves a few steps.

Below we will look at the process for measuring stockpiles and what it involves:

Step 1. Capture the data using a drone mapping flight

Step 2. Process the data into a 3D Model

Drone-based 3D Model of Stockpiles
Drone-based 3D Model of Stockpiles

Step 3. Measure the data (stockpile)

Measuring stockpiles
Measuring stockpiles

Types of Stockpile Volume Calculations

There are generally two types of stockpile volume calculations, we will look at these briefly below:

Method 1: Best Fit

types of stockpile calculations

This method is best for stockpiles where the ground or base of the stockpile is clearly visible all around the stockpile.

It’s important that the stockpile measurement points are on the base at all times, not on the stockpile!

Method 2: Lowest Point

types of stockpile calculations

This method is best for stockpiles where the ground or base for the stockpile is not fully visible.

The stockpile may be against a wall or equipment or on a sloping surface.

Workflow in Hammer Missions

Measuring stockpiles is an easy process when using Hammer Missions, below we will look at the workflow once you have the data processed:

1: Select the cube-shaped measurement tool

2: Draw a polygon around the stockpile carefully

3: Make adjustments using the white vertices if necessary

4: Press Enter or use the tick option

5: You will see the measurement being calculated

6: Your stockpile measurements will be displayed

7: If you want to change the measurement method, go to the settings wrench and choose from the available options

8: Once you have selected the appropriate measurement re-measure the stockpile as shown in previous steps.

9: Tap the measurement to copy the value if you require


It's important to understand different types of stockpiles require different measurement approaches.

For large sites, it makes a lot of sense to track stockpile volumes over time which drones are now capable of doing.

If you'd like to learn more about how to produce high-quality data and get the most out of your drone missions, please feel free to visit our learning resources.

If you haven't got a Hammer account as of yet and would like to try Hammer Missions you can get started on our free trial.

To learn more about our enterprise solutions, including mission collaboration, data processing, and AI solutions, please contact us at

We look forward to hearing from you. - Team at Hammer Missions


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